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Several popular retailers, including Target, Saks, and The Gap, recently settled a suit over cadmium content in jewelry sold at their retail stores. The settlement drastically reduces the amount of cadmium that can be used in jewelry items.

According to the settlement and this LA Times article, by the end of the year all children’s and adult jewelry sold by the retailers must contain no more than .03% of cadmium.

Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that has been linked to cancer, genetic problems, and kidney damage. The metal is often used as a low-cost way to add weight and shape to jewelry. The use of cadmium became popular as an alternative to the use of lead, which was effectively banned by U.S. legislation in 2008. Cadmium and lead share many common properties, namely weight and density, the problem is however, that the two metals also share the trait of being toxic to humans.

The new levels set by the settlement all but ban the use of cadmium in jewelry sold by the retailers involved. The retailers involved in the suit include:

  • Rainbow/5-7-9 Stores (AIJJ Enterprises/Rainbow Apparel)
  • Target
  • Aeropostale
  • The Buckle
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • The Wet Seal
  • Catherines Inc/Lane Bryant
  • Haskell Jewels
  • Charlotte Russe
  • Hot Topic
  • Claire’s
  • MJM Jewelry
  • Cost Plus
  • Old Navy/Banana Republic/The Gap
  • Fiesta Jewelry
  • Rodgers Sports Management
  • Finesse Novelty
  • Saks Inc
  • Forever 21
  • Shalom Int’l
  • Group USA
  • Tanya Creations

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